In their final year at Muncie’s Southside High School, a group of seniors hurtles toward maturity with a combination of joy, despair, and an aggravated sense of urgency. They are also learning a great deal about life, both in and out of school, and not what school officials think they are teaching.
Once Upon A Forest / Il était une forêt (2013) Luc Jacquet, Francis Hallé, Michel Papineschi, Documentary
From the creators of March of the Penguins and The Fox and the Child. Written and directed by Luc Jaquet, Once Upon a Forest invites the spectator into a never-before-seen world of natural wonder and staggering beauty. For the first time, we will be able to watch a rainforest growing before our eyes. Drawing on a vast fund of research and knowledge, Once Upon a Forest will lead viewers on a journey into the depths of the tropical jungle, into the very heart of life on earth. For years, Luc Jacquet has spellbound audiences worldwide with his intimate yet spectacular stories of the natural world. His encounter with pioneering botanist and ecologist Francis Hallé was to give birth to this extraordinary exploration of the prehistoric rainforests, the great green lungs of our planet. Once Upon a Forest offers this unique voyage into a completely untamed universe, a world of perfect balance in which each living thing – from the smallest to the largest – plays an essential role. The film will deliver a complete sensory immersion in the primeval splendour of one of nature’s richest mysteries, inviting the audience to enter, discover and marvel at a universe of untold treasures while joining its voice to the ever growing awareness of the need to preserve our world.
Pug, a wisecracking 13 year old living on a dangerous Westside block, has one goal in mind: to join The Twelve O’Clock Boys; the notorious urban dirt-bike gang of Baltimore. Converging from all parts of the inner city, they invade the streets and clash with police, who are forbidden to chase the bikes for fear of endangering the public. When Pug’s older brother dies suddenly, he looks to the pack for mentorship, spurred by their dangerous lifestyle. Pug’s story is coupled with unprecedented, action-packed coverage of the riders in their element. The film presents the pivotal years of change in a boy’s life growing up in one of the most dangerous and economically depressed cities in the US.
The True Glory (1945) Garson Kanin, Carol Reed, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Fallon, Robert Harris, Documentary, War
British filmmaker Carol Reed and American playwright Garson Kanin team up to direct the war documentary The True Glory. The movie was assembled from actual footage of the WWII allied invasion of Europe, captured by thousands of different camera operators. Starting with D-Day, the documentary covers the major battles all the way to the fall of Berlin, along with personal vignettes. The prologue is read by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, with Robert Harris and Peter Ustinov providing narration. The True Glory won an Academy award for Best Documentary in 1945.
Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson (2004) Ken Burns, Jack Johnson, Keith David, Samuel L. Jackson, Documentary, Biography, Sport
The story of Jack Johnson is huge. The first black Heavyweight Champion of the World, 1908 to 1915, he was rowdy, smart, rebellious, and proud. He was also resilient in the face of unrelenting racism. And, as Stanley Crouch observes in Ken Burns’ Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, “There is nobody like Jack Johnson, because, first thing, when Jack Johnson was fighting, he could have been killed at any of his major fights. There were people out in the audience who were probably willing to murder him. He knew it, they knew it, everybody in the world knew it.”
Talented and world-famous as a young man, as well as essentially unbeatable, Johnson was champion when (official, as opposed to underground) boxing was a wholly white province, when the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Jack London, all editorialized as to natural orders, in which African Americans were humble and inferior, and Caucasians were honorable, strong, and always right. And yet, as courageous and frankly brilliant as Jack Johnson was, his story is frequently forgotten in the wake of more recent flashy sports and other celebrities.
One of the largest and most controversial legal cases on the planet. An inside look at the infamous $27 billion “Amazon Chernobyl” case, CRUDE is a real-life high stakes legal drama set against a backdrop of the environmental movement, global politics, celebrity activism, human rights advocacy, the media, multinational corporate power, and rapidly-disappearing indigenous cultures. Presenting a complex situation from multiple viewpoints, the film examines a complicated situation from several angles while bringing a story of environmental peril and human suffering into focus.
Biography of the award-winning Argentinian leftist filmmaker Raymundo Gleyzer, who was kidnapped by the CIA-backed military junta in 1976 at the age of 35. Features extensive clips from his movies as well as interviews with the people who knew him.
Harlan County U.S.A. (1976) Barbara Kopple, Norman Yarborough, Houston Elmore, Phil Sparks, Documentary
This film documents the coal miners’ strike against the Brookside Mine of the Eastover Mining Company in Harlan County, Kentucky in June, 1973. Eastovers refusal to sign a contract (when the miners joined with the United Mine Workers of America) led to the strike, which lasted more than a year and included violent battles between gun-toting company thugs/scabs and the picketing miners and their supportive women-folk. Director Barbara Kopple puts the strike into perspective by giving us some background on the historical plight of the miners and some history of the UMWA.
Beyond the Myth is a film about dogs commonly referred to as “pit bulls” and those who love and defend these breeds. It explores the contributing factors behind the public’s generalized fear of “pit bulls,” and examines the conflict existing between advocates and opponents of breed discriminatory laws, as carried out in three cities that ban pit bull-type dogs: Denver, Miami, and Cincinnati-along with San Francisco, which requires the animals to be spayed and neutered.
Pablo’s Hippos recounts the absurd and paradoxical history of Colombia’s thirty-year struggle with international drug trafficking, at once a farce and a tragedy, as seen through the eyes of the extravagant pet of the most powerful drug baron in history: a hippopotamus named Pablo.